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What is the Statute of Limitations on Abuse Claims?

May 15, 2024
Statute of Limitations on Abuse Claims

If you suffered childhood sexual abuse and never told anyone, you might wonder whether it’s still possible to seek justice from the perpetrator. Whether you can sue for child sexual abuse depends on the degree of severity and the state where you live. Some states give you up to 10 years to file a claim for felony sexual assault, for instance, while others have no limit while others are very restrictive on when claims can be made.

An attorney who handles child sexual cases needs to know and understand deadlines for filing a lawsuit.

What Is the Statute of Limitations?

The statute of limitations is a deadline giving you a certain amount of time to file a civil suit. There are three reasons this deadline exists:

  • Courts want victims to file a suit as soon as possible while key witnesses are still available and details of the incident are fresh in their minds.
  • Evidence can vanish if victims wait too long to sue.
  • It prevents defendants from being sued unfairly.

Deadlines for Different Types of Sexual Assault

All sexual abuse is horrific, but the laws in different states  may consider some types to be worse than others. Thus, deadlines for filing a suit vary based on the degree of severity of the assault.

Misdemeanor Sexual Assault

This is the least severe type of sexual assault. It can include:

  • Inappropriate sexual misconduct
  • Lewd or lascivious acts
  • Unwanted touching
  • Statutory seduction or rape
  • Unwanted sexual contact

Felony Sexual Assault

Felony sexual assault includes:

  • Forcible rape
  • Continuous abuse
  • Sodomy
  • Incest
  • Unlawful sexual penetration with an object

The statute of limitations for  sexual assault ranges from state to state, although some states don’t have a deadline.

Should You Seek Legal Representation for Child Sexual Assault?

If you want justice, it’s worth talking to a lawyer who handles these types of claims.. An experienced child abuse attorney will help you build your case and fight aggressively to recover damages for the abuse you’ve suffered.

Compassionate Legal Counsel for Child Abuse Cases

If you’d like to talk to a child sexual abuse attorney, contact Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C., at (800) 433-2408 for a free consultation.